Most people infected with mosquito-borne West Nile virus don’t experience any symptoms at all. However, the tiny percentage of cases that do end up in the hospital total hundreds of millions of dollars in medical costs and lost productivity.
In the United States, getting better often comes with an unfortunate and devastating side effect: financial bankruptcy. In fact, a 2009 study in five states found that between 2001 and 2007, medical-related bankruptcies rose by nearly 50 percent. And for those diagnosed with cancer, the risk is even worse.